When Is The Right Time To Have Another Baby – Keira Moré
" You may be excited by the idea of having another baby but the thought of disrupting the flow of your existing family unit terrifies you, particularly when it feels like you have just found that “flow.”"
“When is the right time to have another baby?”
It is a question I get asked often and while there is no right answer, there are a few factors to consider.
The short answer is: whenever you get pregnant is the right time.
The longer and more complicated answer is that there is no “perfect” time to add another child to your family.
You may be excited by the idea of having another baby but the thought of disrupting the flow of your existing family unit terrifies you, particularly when it feels like you have just found that “flow.” As a mother of two preschoolers I can say that our home life is just now starting to feel less chaotic than it has for the past few years. I am just starting to feel settled in my new identity as a mom of two. I have space for myself in the day to do what I want or what needs to be done without a very cute and tiny accessory attached to me. I do not feel like I am drowning in motherhood most of the time anymore, even though those feelings still pop up once in a while.
Pediatricians and childhood development specialists say that a three year age gap is ideal for your older child. Starting around age three, children become more independent. They are likely in preschool and able to verbalize their wants and needs, making at least some aspects of parenting easier. A three year old has other safe, reliable and loving adults in their life and is not strictly dependent on his or her parents for everything, specifically the mother. They might participate in extracurricular activities that make their world feel bigger and are generally less consumed with their parents. As hard as the transition from baby to kid can feel for the parent, it does make bringing home a new baby easier on the sibling.
Another important consideration is that just because it may be the ideal time for your child, does not mean that it’s the ideal time for you! Things like finances, work load, parental age, possible fertility issues, emotional capacity and general stress levels in the home all matter. Adding another human to your family adds an additional layer of needs and that should not be taken lightly.
My personal belief is that the right time is simply when it happens. You will somehow find the time to do all the things that you need to, not only because you can but because you have no other choice. Your time becomes even more valuable and you will learn all of the best ways to spend it. Perfection becomes less important, while boundaries simultaneously become more important than ever. Your older children will adjust to sharing your attention with a new baby. No, it won’t always be easy but it will be worth it. The only thing I know for sure, and you likely cannot imagine it now, is your capacity to love does not become divided between your children: that capacity only multiplies itself. Lucky us and lucky them.
Keira Moré is an experienced Doula and founder of Noa Doula Community. Her work empowers mothers, birthers, and parents to trust their intuition and build their authentic parenting style. She has supported people through birth, labor, and beyond. She currently resides in Los Angeles with her family. In her free time she can be found nurturing her garden and her family.